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Main professional problems discussed at Petersburg Legal Forum. RIA "7 Novostey", 18 May 2018

The influence of sanctions, counter-sanctions and complicated political background on the profession of a lawyer was discussed at the PILF, press-service informs.

TV journalist Marianna Maximovskaya acted as a hostess of the talk-show "Legal profession: anatomy of survival".

Director of the legal department of the PJSC "Moscow Exchange" Alexander Smirnov, president of the Association of Corporate Lawyers Alexandra Nesterenko, director of the PJSC "Rosseti" legal defense department Leonid Akimov, senior partner of the "Pepelyaev Groupp" Rustem Akhmetshin, managing partner of Baker McKenzie in the CIS Sergey Voitishkin, managing partner of PwC Legal in Russia Yana Zoloeva, managing partner of attorneys at law Pen & Paper Anton Imennov, managing partner of the bureau of advocates KIAP Andrey Korelsky, director for legal matters of the PJSC "Rosbank" Polina Lebedeva, director for business legal support of the X5 Retail Group Yekaterina Lobatchova and director for legal matters of the "Koka-Kola" subdivision in North and South Europe Olga Fominykh participated in the talk-show.

Marianna Maximovskaya stated the influence of sanctions and counter-sanctions on the legal market as the most burning issue. She said that regulation of the legal area in Russia was changing rapidly against that background. "President Vladimir Putin signed 114 laws for four and a half months of the year 2018 only. Our printer is pretty active in stamping new norms", - underlined the journalist.

Managing partner of attorneys at law Pen & Paper Anton Imennov emphasized great influence of the situation on the market of legal services. The expert is sure that sanctions and counter-sanctions can, to the certain extent, serve as a benefit and reload for the branch. "Having turned the market over, sanctions will thus make the right of people, but not the access to Kremlin or the White House, important. It's not a secret that Russian peculiarity suffers from lack of replacement in the leadership of legal firms. Leaders are successful until their participation in the work of the firm is important and significant. To my mind, the time of junior partners has come. Senior players will be able to hand over the reins of government to their junior partners who won't serve the interests of the "Eternal Head" as it is in Turkmenistan or North Korea", - considers the speaker.

Alexander Smirnov categorically disagreed with him. He said that the issue of sanctions was no laughing matter and it was unlikely to be positive. He also said that lawyers faced great difficulties when all those laws they had studied lost their actual importance. Polina Lebedeva from the PJSC "Rosbank" considered her position rather pessimistic. "If we want a source of joy, we only have to use sanctions as such a source, there is no strength for anything else. In practical terms, as the representative of Rosbank I can say that the market is becoming different due to sanctions, clients get into more difficult situations, consulting and work markets have negative attitude to sanctions", - stated the expert.

Olga Fomina emphasized that her company didn't see any practical advantages in sanctions, though they observed them. In her opinion, withdrawal of foreign investors followed by the outflow of capital caused nervous unpredictability and raised costs for companies.

Besides, the participants discussed introduction of technologies in jurisprudence. Many of them noted that professions connected with  the analysis of a large number of documents were disappearing. Olga Fomina paid her colleagues' attention to the similarity between the topics of discussion at the PILF and the exhibition held in the Hermitage and called "Not everyone will be taken into the future". She said that lawyers wouldn't be helpful for their profession in the future if they didn't improve themselves and keep up with the changing agenda.

Marianna Maximovskaya presented comparative information about the level of satisfaction with their work of the lawyers in Russia and elsewhere. She called information about Russia alarming: a lot of successful lawyers happened to be not fully content with their work. Andrey Korelsky stated that it happened because of the absence of contact between the companies' leadership and specialists. He said that such a gap caused motivation decrease and misunderstanding. "It's a matter of trust. It's silly to lie to the young now. One shouldn't deceive and betray their lawyers. Lawyers should be loved.

If you don't communicate with them and see them in office, you lose contact and there are no links left between you and them. You just sit together "for money" and run apart if everything goes wrong. Motivation for a lawyer is,  first of all, about honest relationship", - concluded the expert.

Yana Zolotova agreed with her colleague. She underlined that efforts had to be directed at helping young and ambitious lawyers-millennials get an interesting, involved and creative job. She concluded  by saying that it was one of the biggest current challenges to the branch.